Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

Zimmerman judge ordered out by appeals court

Written By: Bob - Aug• 30•12

Later, Tater: Appeals Court grants George Zimmerman a new judge after Kenneth Lester compromised his integrity. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinal/Pool/EPA photo)

Florida Judge Kenneth Lester, who had been the judge in the Second Degree Murder case against George Zimmerman, has been thrown off the case by a three-judge panel when he refused to recuse himself for bias:

A Florida appeals court today ordered Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. to disqualify himself in George Zimmerman’s trial for the alleged murder of Trayvon Martin.

The Fifth District Court of Appeals in Daytona, Fla., voted 2-1 that Lester should be disqualified. Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, had appealed to the court in early July for  Lester to be removed.

His motion to disqualify the judge came in response to Lester’s order setting Zimmerman’s bail at $1 million. In it Lester wrote that  Zimmerman had “flaunted the system” and practiced “deception upon the court” after it was revealed that Zimmerman and his wife Shellie had not told the court he had two passports and tried to hide the amount of money their defense fund had raised.  record. They were also accused of speaking in code in reference to their assets.

In a 17-page document O’Mara accused Lester of having a bias against Zimmerman, writing that “the court made gratuitous, disparaging remarks about Mr. Zimmerman’s character, advocated for Mr. Zimmerman to be prosecuted for additional crimes; offers a personal opinion about the evidence for said prosecution; and continues to hold over Mr. Zimmerman’s head the threat of future contempt proceedings.”

Fifth District Court Judges C. Alan Lawson and Jay P. Cohen concurred that O’Mara’s motion was “legally sufficient” in describing his fear that Zimmerman could not get a fair and impartial trial.

It would not take me very much convincing at all to believe that Judge Lester said what he said about Zimmerman in hopes of being removed from the case. Based upon all evidence presented thus far, charges never should have been brought against the citizen, who claimed to have fired a single shot at Trayvon Martin after Martin sucker punched him, mounted him, and continued to pummel him as multiple cries for help went unanswered.

Charges were only brought against Zimmerman after significant threats of racial unrest.

Based upon the training I took to get my concealed carry permit, the situation looks like a textbook example of how an armed citizen can lose and then regain his right to armed self defense as a fluid violent situation unfolds. Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara has indicated interest in a “stand your ground” pre-trial hearing under Florida law, in which he will argue that Zimmerman’s case was so clear cut that “stand your ground” wasn’t applicable, and that Zimmerman should be released on normal and widely understood self-defense grounds.

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  1. Steven says:


    Your assessmnt could well be right. No judge wants any part of this. The evidence, no matter what your (or my) personal thoughts on the Trayvon case, clearly indicates that the judge MUST dismiss the 2nd degree murder charge.

    FWIW – I agree with your assessment. Trayvon was a young cocky kid / man who thought he was going to pummel a smaller out of shape roley poley dude. I DO grant that he (Trayvon) probably had no idea how serious the situation would become. Typical kid thinking. He’d give GZ a “good beat down” and reaffirm his badassery.

    Unfortunately for Trayvon adults don’t take having their heads bashed in as a school yard fight.

    Trayvon stepped into the adult world in a very unfortunate manner – and he died due to the thug culture that Hollywood glorifies.

  2. john dashnaw says:

    i agree. the media has spun this out of control. from severely edited soundbites to misrepresentation of both victim and suspect. only recently did they change there tune and that was well after the shite hit the fan and unrest was well created. its sad that a unfortunate situation where a young man infected with the “gangster” mentality assaulted a older man who only wanted to protect himself and his neighbors.

  3. captainfish says:

    Bob, if you are right, then the judge is even worse of a judge. Letting public whim and fear of public outcry sway his rulings? Law is the law. He should have ruled this was a bad case from the start based on the laws of Florida.

    Another thing, do you think a judge at this level would really risk sanctions or worse in order to save some political bacon?

    I am just dying for this case to be thrown out and the DA to be disbarred.